You get this...
and a little of this...
I would say those pics best describe Austin this month!
This has been a pretty rough month! This phase has been a test of my patience and parenting skills. And scarily we aren't even fully into the terrible twos! Yikes! We're dealing with the same nap issues and scowling skills that we had last month. I wanna say that we had slightly better naps but that the scowling and tantrums have been worse. Brian declared the other day that tantrums are his least favorite part of parenting so far. (I'm not sure he fully remembers the exploding poop days though) Austin has been so tired that he'll cry and yell at the drop of a hat at least once a day. And sometimes he's just impossible to make happy. For example, he likes to play with Brian's ID badge. We took it away cuz he was chewing on it. He threw a fit. Brian told him he could have it as long as he didn't chew on it. He threw a fit when Brian tried to give it to him. So Brian tried to put it back on his belt and Austin threw even more of a fit. Basically, he didn't want it anymore but he didn't want Brian to have it either! So disagreeable! Thankfully I know this is on the mend. At least nap-wise. We've had longer and longer naps each week. It hasn't completely erased the teenager-style attitude, but it has been better.
As bad as the attitude can be, it can't snuff out the happy kid completely! He gives the best hugs and will often come up and hug my leg for no apparent reason. If I'm snoozing on the couch while he plays (due to him getting up at the crack of dawn) he'll come over and wake me up just to give me a kiss.
And he LOVES to wake Brian up in the morning. It's the funniest thing. McKenna has been eating just about the time Austin could potentially wake up, so I leave their door and gate open while I feed her. So if he does wake up, he can just come out of his room by himself. I try to get him to come into the front room and not wake up Brian but he usually dashes in there instead. He quietly stands by Brian's head, just staring at him, or giggling quietly until Brian senses his presence and wakes up. Scared the bejeezus out of Brian the first few times he opened his eyes to a little face close up and personal! I'm pretty sure Brian does not enjoy it as much as Austin does, but it is pretty funny!
His signing is almost all gone and I'm kinda sad to see it go! Just a little "more" here and there and "please" & "thank you" when you ask him too. He says "more" now rather than signing it most times. It's so fun to hear his little voice. My favorite phrase of the month is "Here it is!" It's pretty clear too. He says that anytime he finds something you ask him to on a book page or that he's been looking for in the room. He's also picked up "Uh-Oh" this month, which is funny to me, because that usually is a phrase they learn much much earlier.
Austin got some new puzzles from his cousin and he's loving life. 2 of them are already too easy for him and it's been just a week and a half. One is a new kind - not a jigsaw but a pieced puzzle nonetheless. His previous puzzles have one "hole" per piece. He was confused for about a day and now he can do it in about 45 seconds. One of the other puzzles had a piece missing and I can't tell you how badly that bugged him! Every time, at the beginning of doing the puzzle and at the end, he'd point out the missing piece and say something. What he said, I'll have no idea, but it sounded very serious! Grandma Judy fixed it for him this weekend by sawing out a new piece out of wood! Now he points out the different piece. We can't win! lol
Oh and he claps for himself still when he's done with the puzzle. He knows without a doubt that he is doing something tricky and should be very proud of himself!
Austin has 14 teeth and 2 more that are close. He finally cut the left canines, top & bottom. That's when naps started to improve!
Austin loves trains! Brian jokingly calls it "an unhealthy obsession"! I don't know if I'd go that far, (He's not as obsessed as Jack!) but he is smitten! And I'm just as smitten with his "Choo Choo!" He points them out everywhere. He also points out trucks & motorcycles with great excitement, so really he just likes machines!
When I talk to him about his senses, I point to the body part that he's using. So if we smell something, I point out that he's smelling with his nose. When we hear something, I ask him what he's hearing with his ears. So now, when he hears something interesting, he points to his ears to ask what it is.
He is enjoying McKenna more and more. Now that she plays with toys he can get down and bat her toys around with her Although, mostly he does just get upset that she has something he thinks is his. But he'll come over to her on the couch and pat her belly and talk to her and gives her kisses and fist bumps. He even held her on the couch. I got some great pics of them that I will hopefully post
We are seeing marked improvement on his coming, staying and stopping skills. They still SUCK when he's tired or cranky, but in general they are better. At the last few playdates at parks he has done really really good. I have a large hook on my stroller for carrying bags and we've turned it into his handle. So when I want him to stay near the stroller, he's supposed to hold the handle and he does! Can you tell I'm shocked?!
Lastly, we started the path towards potty training. I don't think he is anywhere near being ready to really give it a go, and probably won't be until he's a little more verbal (and actually has a personality of wanting to please rather than do the exact opposite of what you want because it's funny) but I wanted to at least get him to realize there are other options than the diaper. He hardly ever is in the bathroom outside of bath time, so I wasn't sure he knew that Daddy & I use the big toilet. So I got him his own and ask him occasionally if he would like to sit on it. When I first got it he was stoked and wanted to sit on it, but hasn't wanted to since. He also wanted to put his hand in it and take it apart. Thankfully it was still clean! I'm trying to comment when I notice he's pooping. He can correctly tell me yes or no when I ask if he has pooped, so I feel like that's a step in the right direction.
But so I don't leave you with only cranky pics of my sweet boy, here's my favorite for the month!